Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz
Finally tossed the Christmas trees to the curb. No more Twinkle Twinkle. Sigh. Need something to keep the winter gloom away. How about a Twinkle Trifeca? Bette Davis, George Sanders, and Marilyn Monroe. So un-Noir. But, who cares. Ladle this trio with some cocktails and you got yourself a sparkly little show.
Bette Davis was only 42 when she made All About Eve, and the bloom was definitely off the rose. But the thorns were sharper than ever. Oscar nomination numero Ocho. Every fiftyish single lady who bypassed kids and a husband on her way up the ladder can identify with Ms. Channing. Money, men and melodrama. And plenty of in All About Eve. gators snapping at your heels.
Davis is already slipping into some of the heavily mannered acting (eyeball rolling and cigarette swirling) that would mark her later years, but here she is “in character” and sheer perfection . For moi it’s too bad All About Eve ‘s Ms. Channing is the role she is most identified with when some of her earlier work is so smashing. Check out some of her thirties flicks — Of Human Bondage (conniving slut), Bordertown (nympho murderer), and Dangerous (home wrecker) for a real Bette-fest.
All About Eve gave Marilyn Monroe the opportunity Bust Out as “a graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts.” George Sanders, master of the sly put-down, was on hand to introduce. Marilyn helps set him up by personifying this snide remark to perfection. Sympatico.
Apparently Zsa Zsa Gabor, Sanders’ wife at the time, felt they were too simpatico. She would visit the set often to make sure Georgie’s interest was purely professional . Ironically producers were initially considering Zsa Zsa for the role of Miss Caswell, but team Monroe was so much more persuasive. Goody goody for us all. Can you imagine All About Eve being the Cocktail Classic it is today if the original dream cast were actually assembled? Shivers…
Margo Channing ….. Claudette Colbert/Susan Hayward
Eve Harrington…………..Jean Crain
Miss Caswell……………..Zsa Zsa Gabor, Angela Landsbury
Bill Sampson……Ronald Reagon/John Garfield
Addison Dewitt…………..Jose Ferrer
Karen Richards …………….. Nancy Davis
All About Eve, 1950, original vintage window card, 14″ x 22″. This 60+ year old window card has been Professionally paper backed and has had some conservation work performed some years ago. (I do not know when) The card has experienced some tanning and some of the colors are lightly faded. There is also some slightly dark discoloration in the lower right corner –you have to get close to see it. Since the card has been in my possession it has been kept in archival sleeves and stored flat.